At this point in my life, verities have become questions again. Should I stop honing the style of old age and instead follow its path to "integrity or despair," dreaming while being dreamed?

The myth of Western Art may have begun in the painted caves of the European Upper Paleolithic, but its history is measured from the mortared walls of Near East communities who drew from a Pandoric box of technological skills. Here ancient pacts with natural forces were broken and scattered about the dimly lit labyrinth of an emerging self-consciousness.

While in America, "some pre-agricultural, pre-ceramics hunting societies were more socially complex than previously thought," around the same time in the Middle East, a god was raised from desert sands, who ordered the leveling of cities and the death,
or enslavement, of their survivors.

Enlarging his earthly kingdom, he dwells in the forest or in lonely places and is sometimes encountered by solitary hunters or travelers. He is usually malevolent and often ‘loses’ people in the woods or hills. He sometimes appears to people in visions, however, walls that had been portals were now barriers to other ways of seeing.

A cry went through late antiquity, ‘Great Pan is dead!’ Plutarch reported it in his ‘On the Failure of the Oracles,’ yet the saying has itself become oracular, meaning many things to many people in many ages. One thing was announced: nature had become deprived of its creative voice.

This morning I gained the woods walking past rocks suggesting a sentinel with a face plied into acute angles and dried pools of fathomless eyes. "Am I failing," I asked myself, "generations of untold ancestors who staked their genes in me?"